Lenovo recently announced the availability of its ZUK Z2 smartphone in India which will be re-branded as the Lenovo Z2 Plus. While Lenovo gave fans plenty of reasons to buy its ZUK Z1 the last time around, it still packed in an older processor. This time however, Lenovo’s Z2 packs in the latest hardware with Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 820. And with a base price of Rs 17,999, the competition among the Chinese flagships is about to heat up!

Design and build

Lenovo Zuk Z2 Plus

The Xiaomi Mi 5 at launch sure got plenty of smartphone manufacturers on their toes as they announced a smartphone with a metal and glass construction that not just looked premium, but also felt premium. We then had the OnePlus 3 that skips on the glass back, following an approach similar to Apple and HTC with an all metal body. With the Lenovo Z2 Plus, things are a bit different. You get what Lenovo calls a ‘roll-cage design’ wherein all key components are mounted on the metal frame to help disperse heat better. The metal frame sits inside the outer fibre-glass frame that technically should prevent the heat from reaching the user’s hands. Add a glass front and back and things should feel a lot cooler on this smartphone as well.

Display

Credits - Evan Blass, Twitter

There’s no competition out here, as all three flagships offer Full HD displays. While Xiaomi and Lenovo offer an IPS module, OnePlus offers a saturated AMOLED unit. One thing to note is that since the Z2 Plus offers the smallest display at 5-inches, it also features the highest pixel density of 441ppi out of the three.

Hardware

All three smartphones offer flagship hardware with a Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 as a standard, and varying capacities of RAM. The OnePlus wins here, thanks to the 6GB of RAM. Whether 6GB of RAM will be of use to users,  is another topic of discussion, but things get messy when you factor in the price tags of all three devices. Coming to the battery, the Z2 Plus wins hands down with a 3500mAh unit compared to the 3000mAh cells in the OnePlus 3 and the Mi 5. Combine this with a smaller display and one technically ends up with a longer lasting smartphone. With camera, however, the Lenovo does lose out it terms of numbers and it also lacks OIS that is available on both the OnePlus 3 and the Xiaomi Mi 5.

Other features

Xiaomi Mi 5 Black Front Side

When you have smartphones with similar hardware, how does one stand out? Well manufacturers add something unique. With Xiaomi Mi 5, there is nothing new to talk about. With the OnePlus 3, you have a hardware feature called the alert slider that lets you switch profiles without turning on the display. With the Z2 Plus, you have U Touch, a home button that comes with added functionality. I used the word “added” because there is already a software navigation bar at the bottom of the display so this is an added layer indeed. You can single press the home button to go back to a previous app, long touch the button to open the notifications tray, and swipe left or right to switch between active open apps. Sounds pretty handy to me.

Software

This is simply something too subjective, but we somehow wished that the ZUK Z2 arrived with Cyanogen inside. This time around Lenovo offers something called the ZUI 2.0 which sits on an Android 6.0 Marshmallow base. We would have really preferred stock-looking Android, like the OnePlus 3, because with fewer customisations come speedy updates. Xiaomi on this front would not be a good choice.

Pricing and Conclusion

Here’s how the pricing chart looks like:

Smartphone Chipset RAM Storage Camera Battery Price
OnePlus 3 Snapdragon 820 6GB RAM 64GB (no expansion) 16MP (with OIS) 3,000mAh Rs 27,999
Xiaomi Mi 5 Snapdragon 820 3GB RAM 32GB (no expansion) 16MP (with OIS) 3,000mAh Rs 22,999
Lenovo Z2 Plus Snapdragon 820 4GB RAM 64GB (no expansion) 13MP 3,500mAh Rs 19,999

Keeping just the price in mind, the Lenovo Z2 Plus seems like a winner. It’s got everything apart from optical image stabilisation with its camera. With Xiaomi Mi 5 out of the way, its only competitor is the OnePlus 3 and even that is priced a good Rs 8,000 higher.

Publish date: September 23, 2016 11:17 am| Modified date: September 23, 2016 11:17 am

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